Leslie Irby Biography

LESLIE IRBY
Pilot

Leslie Irby of East Point, GA, is a 2012 graduate of Fort Valley State University. While attending, Leslie had the distinct honor of pledging Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. She currently is an active member of the East Point/College Park Alumnae Chapter. Leslie was involved in a car accident in 2013 where multiple fatalities occurred. She now becoming paralyzed, decided life was worth living, gave new meaning to “The Phoenix Rises”. Not letting injury stop her, Leslie was crowned Ms. Wheelchair Georgia, 2015 and 1st runner up in the National Pageant. From that experience, she was a featured Model along side Top Runway Model Adriana Lima and Madeline Stuart in NYFW. This marked the beginning of many now FIRST for Leslie, as she is now known as the First African American Female Model with a disability to be in a major fashion show. That same year, she returned back to school and in 2017 received her Masters in Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling. Leslie has worked for multiple state vocational agencies as a Rehabilitation Counselor. She prided herself on being able to make an impact on high school students, who are on the autism spectrum and others with developmental and intellectual disabilities, transition from high school into either upper level vocational programs or trade schools. Leslie has always been an avid traveler, flying to more countries in her wheelchair than when able-bodied. While on a flight to France, Leslie had the epiphany to finish a Dream she’d started over 12 years ago: to become a pilot. Thanks to a program called Able Flight, after 7 long weeks of flying Day and Night at Purdue University, on June 28, 2019, Leslie accomplished her goal and became a licensed sport pilot. She is now historically known as the FIRST African American Female with a disability to receive a pilot license. She owes her love for aviation to Bessie Coleman and is proud to be a fellow aviatrix in her shadow of greatness.